JJ 03/93: Claire Martin – The Waiting Game

Thirty years ago, Bruce Crowther foretold international fame for an English singer blessed with 'style, intelligence and wit'. First published in JJ March 1993


Claire Martin has already begun making an enviable name for her­self on the club circuit. This album confirms her reputation and shows her to be a major addition to the British jazz scene.

Indeed, handled well, she will make a great impact internationally being blessed not only with a wonderful voice but also the rare ability to use it with style, intelligence, and wit.

Her choice of material is exemplary, blending some excel­lent, if underused, songs from the popular field with the work of other singers such as Betty Carter (Tight), Joni Mitchell (Be Cool) and Matt Dennis (Everything Hap­pens To Me). There is also an example of her own skills in this area with the title track which is a co-composition with Gee.

Gee’s playing is uniformly excellent as is that by Somogyi and Tracey. Indeed, the latter, per­haps through his work with his wife, singer Tina May, is discreetly supportive.

Although the playing time is below par, this is a case where the quality of the music is so good that I must recommend the album without qualification. Sound quality is excellent.

You Hit The Spot; Be Cool; This Funny World; Better Than Any­thing; If You Could See Me Now; Some Cats; The Waiting Game; It’s Always Four A.M.; The People That You Never Get To Love; Tight; Everything Happens To Me; The Key To Your Ferrari (49.33)
Martin (v); Jonathan Gee (p); Jim Mullen (g); Arnie Somogyi (b); Clark Tracey (d). London, December 9 & 10, 1991.
(Linn AKD 018)